Weinstein accused and Hammond on ‘no-deal’ Brexit

Jolie and Paltrow accuse Weinstein of harassment

Harvey Weinstein was one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, but since allegations of sexual harassment against him have become public knowledge, he has lost his job and his wife has announced she is leaving him. Film stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have become the latest actresses to make accusations against him.

Jolie says she had a “bad experience” with Weinstein in her youth and chose never to work with him again. Paltrow alleges that he suggested massages after he had cast her in the leading role in Emma. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she told the New York Times.

Meanwhile, former US President Barack Obama (whose Democratic Party has received large donations from Weinstein) and former First Lady Michelle Obama say they are “disgusted” by the claims against the Oscar-winning film producer.

Weinstein’s spokeswoman says: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.” He has begun counselling and is seeking a “better path”, she adds.

Hammond: No cash in Budget for ‘no-deal’ Brexit

The prime minister has said the UK is making preparations in case Brexit talks end without a trade deal with the European Union. But Chancellor Philip Hammond, in a letter to the Times, writes that taxpayers’ money should not be spent on getting ready for such an eventuality. He adds that the best outcome for the UK economy will result from “certainty”.

Another Brexit-related issue came up on Tuesday, when PM Theresa May – who backed Remain last year – was asked on LBC radio if she would vote in favour of leaving the EU were another referendum to happen now. “I don’t answer hypothetical questions,” she replied. It’s something she is now likely to be asked “again and again”, says BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

Meanwhile, a report suggests the profitability of the average UK farm could fall by as much as half after Brexit – although the government says the research is based on “highly unlikely scenarios”.

The human cost of heroin

Almost one in three drug overdoses in Europe happens in the UK, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. On average last year, one person died every five hours after using heroin and/or morphine. In this in-depth piece for BBC News, Ed Thomas and Claire Kendall look at the reasons for these statistics, speaking about the victims with those they have left behind.

Ban approved on abortion clinic protests

The London borough of Ealing could introduce an “unprecedented” ban on protesters gathering outside an abortion clinic. Councillors have backed the move, which its originator said would ensure “legal healthcare without intimidation”. But the Good Counsel Network, which holds daily vigils outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Mattock Lane, denies harassing women.

The allegations by Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie against Harvey Weinstein make most front pages. The Daily Mail calls the scandal “Hollywood’s darkest day”. Elsewhere, the i says the pay cap on NHS staff will be scrapped. And several newspapers report on the news that pregnant women and elderly people have been given the go-ahead to eat runny or raw eggs carrying a British Lion mark.

Today’s lookahead

Today Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and golfer Justin Rose receive their MBEs at Buckingham Palace.

Today The Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest publishing trade show, begins, with 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries taking part.
On this day

1987 An exploration of Loch Ness – involving a flotilla of 24 boats and the use of sonar – fails to find a monster.

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